With her right hand, she pulled at her wrapper, knelt on the muddy ground and raised both hands towards heaven.

Tears of joy ran down her cheeks.       

"You are a merciful God. What would have been my story?" she queried.  

On that fateful day, the moon was rising, although it had not yet appeared where everyone could see it. 

It's light had already melted down the darkness when mama Ifiemi returned from the market.

Pushing an old wheelbarrow which she used to convey her cooked food to School Road Junction where she usually sells them every evening.  

She could discern the shape of her front door, but the quietness in her compound especially with her children at home, scared her.

Battling with her thoughts, she unlocked her sitting room door.

Fear embraced her when she saw the thick smoke that had covered her apartment.

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There was no power supply as such, her children had lit a candle. But had all dozed off before it could burn out.

It apparently fell on the carpet, and caught fire.

The fire spread from the carpet to books placed carelessly on the floor, then to the curtains hanging by the front door.  

Unaware of happening around them and despite the heat from the fire, Ifiemi, the eldest child, and her four siblings, sweating profusely, slept unperturbed.

Seeing her house on fire with her children asleep inside, mama Ifiemi ran outside shouting and calling on neighbours to help rescue her children.

Help came and they were rescued unhurt. 

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The incident, which took place at Paebi's Estate at School Road, Edepie Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, was as a result of the persistent blackout within Yenagoa and its environs.  

"We use candles every night for the past 5 days now.  

"I am grateful to God that I didn't lose my children. 

"If there is power supply, my children won't light candles," Mama Ifiemi told Bounce News.

It was scary for 13 year old lfiemi, a JSS lll student of Community Secondary School Etegwe, who also shared her experience.

"I remember lighting the candle which I kept near the door and read a story book to my siblings.   

"I didn't know when or how we all fell asleep.   

"When I woke up, I was lying on a neighbour's laps outside our home," she said.

According to her, the sight of thick smoke that beclouded their room, scared her. 

Confirming the incident, a neighbour who is also a police officer, Mr Jackson Ogwoi, said: "Mama Ifiemi is my neighbour, we didn't even know that her flat was on fire.  

"Ironically, a staff of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), had issued us bill today for unsupplied electricity.  

"We thank God for the lives of the children."    

Sitting on the floor, mama Ifiemi recounted how Bayelsa state used to enjoy 24 hours power supply through its Imiringi Gas Turbine. 

"Power supply used to be free in those days.           

"Businesses thrived and money was in circulation.  

"Today, I would have lost five children because PHED decided to be careless with their work and kerosene out of our reach, selling for 270 Naira per litre.

"If there was light, my children, wouldn't have been at the verge of losing their lives" she concluded.  

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A female staff of PHED who wouldn't want her name mentioned, told Bounce News that the outage was as a result of vandalism.

"Ahoada boys vandalised our station and chased all our staff away,” she said.

The PHED official further stated that it would take a while before power would be restore in the state.

The blackout which has lasted for 5 days has crippled businesses.

Residents, however, call on Governor Dickson to look into the matter.

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